23 Apr 2010

Colour coordinated

I don't venture into the blogosphere that much, but if it's anything like real life, it will be buzzing with almost nothing but talk of the election.

I've been doing a lot of canvassing - knocking on doors to encourage people to vote Green in the upcoming general election, and, of more immediate concern to me personally, in the local elections on the same day.

In a rather bizarre reversal of the usual, I'm finding that people are much clearer about their local voting intentions than their national ones.

In the past, most people you talk to will tell you they generally vote for a particular party when it comes to general elections. In places like St Albans, where we have also local elections every year, there's a bit more uncertainty, less of a feeling that party politics matters, more of a feeling of maybe voting for someone you like or you actually know.

Now I am constantly having this conversation on the doorstep:

Me: Might you vote Green in the general or local elections?
Voter: Well, I'll vote for you locally, but I'm not sure about the general election. I haven't made up my mind.

I don't have to persuade many people about why they might vote Green locally. They seem quite happy to do that. But nationally, it's weird. People are saying they're going to read the manifestos. They're going to see how the campaigns develop. They want to hear what the party leaders are saying, but also what their own prospective MPs are saying.

You don't need me to add to the commentary about the leaders' debates. But there's something about them that leaves people a bit confused, unsure about whose post to nail their colours to.

Because, if you live in St Albans, you can't actually vote for Clegg, or Brown, or Cameron, or Lucas. You can only vote for their local rep, and their policies. It's a lot to think about.

By the way, if you want to check out which policies you like, without knowing whose they are, go here.

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